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In overdrive? 高强度运转

中国日报网 2024-06-07 11:30


Reader question:

Please explain this sentence: Just like that, his acting career is in overdrive.

My comments:

This actor didn’t have a lot of jobs. Then, say, he appeared in a hit movie and, all of a sudden, he’s a star. Jobs and roles, including leading roles, come flooding in. He’s super busy nowadays.

Something like that.

His career in overdrive means he’s hyperactive right now.

Overdrive is an automobile term. Drivers shift gears in order to speed up the vehicle, the higher the gear, the faster the car is allowed to run. An overdrive gear allows it to be driven at very high speeds, much higher than normal, that is.

Overdrive, as name suggests, implies a machine is overworking, i.e. working too hard.

Hence, it is perhaps not sustainable.

Anyways, that’s overdrive, a state of hyper activity. People work in overtime, for example, to increase productivity. That’s a typical example of overdrive. They’re working extra hours and are overworking themselves.

Or, like a car operating in overdrive, they’re driving too hard.

All right, here are media examples of overdrive:

1. A British student left with her ‘foot dangling loose’ after being savaged by a 10ft crocodile in Zambia has told of how her ‘mind went into overdrive’ as she battled the beast.

Amelie Osborn-Smith, 18, was enjoying a day of white water rafting on the Zambezi Rover, close to Victoria Falls, when she was attacked by the huge crocodile despite guides telling her the river was safe to swim in.

She has since suffered nightmares and flashbacks to the horrific incident in which she was dragged into a death roll.

The teen’s father, former Army Major Brent Osborn-Smith, previously said she had been resting her leg over the side of the boat when the crocodile clamped its jaws around her calf and dragged her under the water.

Speaking from her bed at the Medland Hospital in Zambia, Amelie revealed instinct took over and her mind went into ‘overdrive’ as she fought for her life.

She said: ‘You don’t really think in that situation. People say you see your life flash before your eyes, but you don’t.

‘You just think, “How did I get out of this situation”.

Your mind just goes into overdrive and you just think about how to get out. I was just very, very lucky.’

Despite suffering gruesome injuries, the teenager from Andover in Hampshire said she will return to Zambia once she has made a full recovery and does not believe one incident should ‘hold you back’.

- British student, 18, who was savaged by a 10ft crocodile in Zambia tells how her ‘mind went into overdrive’ as she battled the beast, DailyMail.co.uk, December 5, 2021.

2. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates about 1.5 million people in the UK have “long Covid”.

Most people who catch Covid don’t become severely ill and get better relatively quickly.

But some have long-term problems after recovering from the original infection - even if they weren’t very ill in the first place.

What are long Covid symptoms?

Long Covid isn’t fully understood, and there’s no internationally-agreed definition – so estimates of how common it is, or what the main symptoms are, vary.

Guidance for UK health professionals refers to symptoms that continue for more than 12 weeks which cannot be explained by another cause.

According to the NHS, these can include extreme tiredness; shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness; problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”); changes to taste and smell and joint pain.

But patient surveys suggest a range of other symptoms may also be present, including gut problems, insomnia and vision changes.

It is crucial to remember these symptoms can have other causes too.

What causes long Covid?

We don’t know.

It could be that the initial infection sends some people’s immune systems into overdrive, meaning they attack not just the virus but their own organs.

- Long Covid: What is it and what are the symptoms? BBC.com, March 10, 2022.

3. We all experience anxiety and stress, and that’s a good thing. If we didn’t, we would not be human and would be unable to protect ourselves and our loved ones from danger.

For example, imagine that while driving you notice another car speeding, looking like it was going to run a stoplight. If you get anxious and experience a “fight or flight” reaction of what could happen, you will react quickly by stepping on the brake and might very well avoid an accident!

Although the above example shows that anxiety can be a friend in times of danger, often anxiety is maladaptive when it goes on overdrive long after the threat of danger is over. Some people cannot get themselves back to a calmer baseline as anxiety remains high – even though there is no longer any objective threat.

Anxiety on overdrive can make us actually feel sick, can cause us to hyperventilate, our hearts to race, while disturbing our concentration and our sleep and even can cause panic attacks.

Most often anxiety results from not actual threats, but our exaggerated fears of what might happen. When we are overly anxious, danger lurks in our minds and not from the outside.

How about you? Do you find your self-talk increases your anxiety more than it calms you down? Do you worry about things that are not really in your control, no matter how much you try?

The following are some ways to calm yourself when you find your anxiety is on overdrive.

Use deep calming breaths

Deep breathing is one of the most immediate steps you can take to calm anxiety.

When we are anxious, we tend to tense up, leading to rapid and shallow breathing. Using deep calming breaths can help us immediately calm down our physiological response to our racing thoughts. Deep breathing involves diaphragmatic breathing.

Breathe slowly though your nose and release your breaths slowly through your mouth. Consciously extend your abdomen while taking deep breaths instead of taking shallow chest breaths.

How can you tell if you are breathing deeply? Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest – when you breathe in, the hand on your stomach should be moving up and down while the hand on the chest stays relatively still.

To help concentrate on your breathing, imagine a color as you breathe in and out.

Count slowly either forwards or backwards for up to the count of 10 as you breathe in and as you release your breath.

- How to Calm Down Anxiety When Your Brain is in Overdrive, LifeHack.org, March 13, 2024.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣   编辑:丹妮)


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